Late-night stripping gets mayoral veto

Carey trumps vote of council, nixes Good Time Charley’s operating after midnight

Posted: Friday, June 16, 2006

For the first time since he has been Soldotna’s mayor, Dave Carey will exercise his veto power, not allowing Good Time Charlie’s strip club to operate past midnight.

Last year, upon learning an adult book store planned to open in Soldotna, a crowd of objectors came to the city and the council passed a new law requiring adult businesses in the city to be closed between midnight and 9 a.m.

Good Time Charlie’s on the eastern edge of the city has operated as a bar and strip club for 34 years, and owner Charles Cunningham sought relief from the new law, saying his patrons did not start arriving until 11 p.m.

An ordinance was introduced in May and approved Wednesday night exempting adult-oriented businesses holding a liquor license from the new rule. They would be allowed to remain open from midnight through 5 a.m.

As an attachment to the ordinance, council members were given a report from Soldotna police showing only two police responses to Charlie’s after midnight between May 2005 and May this year.

By comparison, post-midnight responses to the Riverside House totaled 22; to Hooligan’s, 21; to the Maverick, 15; and to BJ’s, one, during the same period, according to the report.

All council members except Lisa Parker voted in favor of the exempting ordinance. During the mayor’s report segment of the city council meeting, Carey, who has been mayor of Soldotna since 2001, informed the council that he would veto their action.

The council has the authority to override the veto.

Following the meeting, Carey said, “Fourteen months ago, (the city council chamber) was filled with people insisting on an ordinance regulating adult businesses in this city.

“I cannot ignore those people,” he said.

No members of the public testified for or against the exempting ordinance during a public hearing Wednesday.

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